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21 September 2007 @ 04:13 pm
Bonus Tao  
I'm still obsessively reading the No-Impact Man project blog, and ran across this gem:

I was reading Jack Kornfield’s After the Ecstasy, the Laundry. In it, Kornfield tells a story about an old Chinese man at a water-well. He lowers a bucket tied to a rope, and slowly pulls the water up, hand over hand. A young man comes by holding a pulley and proceeds to explain how it would make the old man’s work easier.

The old man says, “If I use a device like this, my mind will think itself clever. With a cunning mind, I will no longer put my heart into what I am doing. If my heart is not in my work, my work will be joyless. When the work is joyless, how do you think the water will taste?”

To Mega Thereminrwx on September 22nd, 2007 12:02 am (UTC)
i really really really recommend after the ecstacy, the laundry.
Kburgunder on September 22nd, 2007 03:03 am (UTC)
Have a copy I could borrow, by any chance?
To Mega Thereminrwx on September 22nd, 2007 03:14 am (UTC)
possibly. i'll look for it tomorrow morning. book storage is pretty alarming at the moment.
Varnvarn_ix on September 23rd, 2007 08:39 am (UTC)
It would seem the thing to do is to adopt the clever device, but readjust your mind to think it the baseline for gruelling work, and then invent maybe a horse-powered water pump or possibly a solar panel and an electromotor.

From my point of a systems engineer, the joy is in putting together clever devices, then congratulating myself on them. The water would taste very sweet indeed.